Showing posts with label ice bath tennis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ice bath tennis. Show all posts

Friday, 1 November 2013

Training Area: Recuperation - ex.R5 [HEAT & ICE]

Ok another post on recuperation for you. 

This post is going to be on the general subject of using cold and hot to recover from training or injuries. There are a lot of conflicting opinions on this depending on who you talk to. I'm going to give you the story from the 'warzone'. I'll share what works for me - these techniques have helped me to train longer and harder without injury. I had almost 1 year of full-time 6 hours a day, 6 days a week training without injury so I think I can put my confidence in these exercises.

Daily Exercises

I have 4 Decathlon Hot/Cold Packs (click link to view). After training I take them out the freezer and put them on my joints/muscles which have a slight tendon problem or tendonitis for around 30 minutes. Afterwards I then put the packs in the microwave and place back on the same joints/muscles to warm and relax them for another 30 minutes. Muscles which are super tense from over-use I treat with heat only. I put the hot packs on for about 30 minutes.  
Ice packs on knees to treat sore cartilage & tendons
Ice pack on knee cartilage | Heat pack on wrist and neck
Weekly Exercises

Every Friday I take an ice bath followed by a hot bath (also known as contrast bath). This is absolutely vital for me to recover from a tough week of training. I started this when my knees started to give me problems - I had an MRI scan which showed no problems. My father suggested I take ice baths and my physical trainer ice baths with hot baths. So reluctantly (!) I started the weekly routine and I haven't had knee problems since. My process is to fill the bath with cold water and then put in a couple buckets of ice - I will then lay in the bath for 8 minutes (or try and lay in it!?!?) with my chest, shoulders, back and neck also immersed if my upper body is sore [this really really hurts!]. After the 8 minutes I take a really hot shower (if you have access to a shower which is not in the bath [if not then just take one ice bath for 15 minutes]) and then return for a second 8 minute session in the ice bath (yeyyyy ;) ). I then let the cold water drain away and I replace it with lovely super hot water and I add salts and eucalyptus oil for a better muscle soak. Then I stay in the bath for at least 20 minutes.

Ice bath with my coach in a natural lake in england

One-off Exercises

An exercise I perform when I have torn a muscle and am in the rehabilitation phase (not the first 3 days and not before all the bruising disappears) or don't have access to a bath is to use an infra-red heat lamp to promote blood flow to the area and relax muscles.

I have found this to be even more effective that using the heat packs mentioned above.

Using infra-red heat lamp to relax lower-back muscles

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Training Area: Recuperation - ex.R1 [ICE MASSAGE]

Its been more than 2 months since my ankle ligament tear but the accident continues to haunt me! After a grade 2 tear in my groin and pains in my calve, hamstring, back and glute I decided to take a trip to the physio and then to an osteopath (im going to talk a little bit about these in my next blogpost). The result is that the impact of the fall when I tore my ligament had dislodged the alignment of my pelvis and caused the L4 (one of the discs of the lumbar [lower back]) to become highly stressed thus commencing a break-down of my entire body...I guess it was a good decision to seek professional advice!

What I wanted to write about in this blogpost was what we did (my coach and I) wrong and then what we did right. 

The mistake we made was that we continued to train for a week after the groin strain - we should have stopped immediately and sought professional advice as to why it had occurred. I hadn't strained a muscle like that for over a year (especially during stretching which is how I strained the groin!?!?) and we probably should have been more worried as to why I had strained it. Instead we continued to train until it got too bad and other parts of the body started to break down.

What we did right is we massaged the groin strain with ice which brought out a blue bruise which then continued to reduce to red then pink and finally disappear. Icing a torn or strained muscle is very beneficial to me (some say icing doesn't help but for me it does 100%) for the first 3 days or until the bruising disappears - after that it is more necessary to put heat on the area rather than ice (but I will talk about heat in another blogpost). The photo to the right shows the blocks of ice we used for the massage - this is a really cheap and quick alternative to an ice bath. The moulds are for muffins/cup-cakes (a good size for handling during the massage) and are made of silicon so its really easy to get the ice out!